A GRAND hotel in Bibury could be transformed back into a large country house because of a decline in business.

Bibury Court Hotel, a Grade I listed building, has battled to stay open for years with dwindling numbers of customers.

But now the owner has decided that, despite efforts to keep the hotel going, the best course of action is to turn the building back into a home.

“We do not believe that the hotel is a fundamental contributor to the local economy due to its size and location,” said Alison Whalley, of Pegasus Group, the company representing the hotel’s owner. “And it’s operation as a bed and breakfast would only reduce its attractiveness further.”

Pegasus' report – submitted to Cotswold District Council to support an application for permission to transform the building back into a residential property – listed a number of reasons for the hotel's failure.

It said it does not fit the needs of the current market and its Grade I listing restricts the ability to expand.

Bibury Court has been a hotel since the late 1960s but was originally built as a grand home.

The current owner purchased the building in 2008 but has been losing a significant amount of money every year from the business, the report said.

“The hotel has 18 bedrooms and, notably, no spa,” added Mrs Whalley.

“This limited accommodation has contributed to the lack of earning potential and has been one of the main causes of the poor income stream.

“To make a hotel of the character and setting of Bibury Court it is necessary to have a minimum of 30 bedrooms plus a spa and associated facilities.”

To create extra bedrooms and a spa would cost in the region of £4million to £6million, the report said.

Costs were also mounting as 10 of the 18 bedrooms need upgrading and the roof needed repair, the report added.

Bibury has one other hotel, The Swan, as well as the Catherine Wheel pub which has recently been refurbished to support the tourist market.

The application was submitted to the district council earlier this month. A date has not yet been set for a decision.